Thursday, October 28, 2010

Broncos Tebow: Why Not Let Him Play?

"If you don’t play Tebow in the fourth quarter against Oakland, then when?"

That's not me talking, although it could have been. That's from the New York Times' Toni Monkovic, in a post from this morning titled "Why Not Give Tebow a Try?"

Josh McDaniels' choice on Sunday was an odd one: No one would have second-guessed him for giving Tebow a few series -- even a few snaps.

Instead, McDaniels seems to have made the active decision NOT to play Tebow -- perhaps specifically to confound the expectations.

There is being contrarian and then there is something else.

Monkovic's "Then when?" is as good of a short-hand slogan for Sunday's mystifying decision-making as anything I've seen.


  1. I completely agree with you that McDaniels should be using Tebow more but, I think McD has tied his own hands on this one by not playing Tim enough in the early weeks. If he, all of a sudden, sits Orton because of a blow out, he's put the team in the middle of a QB controversy based on the fact that a precedent would be set. Inevitably, the media would blow this out of proportion(because Tim is involved) and fabricate that controversy to the limit. I'm sure that's the last thing McDaniels wants after the Cutler and Marshall situations.

  2. I agree with McDaniels not playing Tebow. Let's just be patient. Tebow is in the future plans of the Broncos (or at least we hope he is) so playing him now doesn't do anybody that much good even if he throws for a TD pass or gets a rushing TD. If he takes a hit like he did in the preseason or takes a sack like the Kentucky game then what would people be saying? I say just let him sit and develop and wait 'til next year.

    There's no reason to play him in blowout games. A few meaningful snaps I wouldn't mind because then he gets used to the pressure of real game situations. We all saw how well Brantley played in meaningless blowout situations for two years and now look at him.

  3. Tebow is a very unique situation. I can think of a number of reasons why McDaniels would not want to risk playing him... but the biggest is that Tebow is an incredibly unique situation. Tebow can't have a bad game like other rookies. If he does the media will crucify him. I think McDaniels wants to wait to make SURE Tebow is completely ready before he makes that step. When you realize that this is the only reason Orton is even playing this season -- to protect Tebow - then it makes a lot of sense why he wouldn't play him in that game. If Tebow does play this season it will likely be after he at least has a chance to get starter reps in practice as well.

  4. That's a good point, RR. Tebow's probably only getting about 10-20% of the practice time right now, so he's not really as prepared as McD would probably like.

  5. I think it's also a unique situation in that McD was really high on Orton earlier in the season.. AND he really wanted to make sure Tebow had time do acclimate himself.

    In a normal situation I bet Tebow has much more of the practice reps than he has been getting. Take Sam Bradford for example.. he was probably getting the bulk of the practice reps even though there was a chance he wouldn't have been the starter this season.

    In that way I think McD was a little delusional. I think EVERYONE was kind of lying to themselves about Orton. Otherwise Tebow would be more prepared to start now. In fact they still might be deluding themselves now thinking Orton will get things back on track.. I think it may LOOK like he does.. but just as it has been all season I think it's been an illusion. Orton is good at putting up stats of little value.

    I think McD's system makes QB's look better than they are though. Take a game manager like Orton and put him in McD's great system and he looks like an elite QB. BUT.. if you actually had an elite QB in there he wouldn't just be putting up stats but points too and winning these games.

  6. Tebow should NOT have played. Mop-up duty is for when YOUR team is ahead, NOT the opponent. When you're ahead, it means that your O-Line is winning = less risk to the QB. When you're losing BIG, it means that your O-Line sucks = HUGE risk to the QB. I figured that Quinn would have been put in, but alas, McD wanted ALL the starters to complete what they started.

  7. RR, your evaluation of Orton seems completely off base. We're all Tebow fans here but you can't ignore facts. With the exception of mediocre games against the Jets and a difficult game against Oakland(in which he still threw 2 touchdown passes), Orton has been the backbone of this team. The blame needs to go on the people at fault, THE DEFENSE! After last Sunday, Denver now ranks at or near the bottom of every major defensive statistic with the exception of pass defense(16th). If your going to blame the offense, it's the running game that needs a complete overhaul. Denver is dead last in YPC and total rushing yards.

  8. I'm not saying Orton is the only problem.. but the QB position is incredibly important.. especially in McDaniels system because I think mcDaniels offense is supposed to be carrying the team. That is McDaniels specialty -- offense. I think this is also his genius which is WHY Orton has looked as good as he has. Look how great Matt Cassel looked in his system yet without it Cassel has been nowhere near as good IMO.

    In McD's system Orton goes from a game manger with huge limitations to looking like an elite QB because of all the yards he puts up but doesn't put up points or convert 3rd downs. With McD's system I think the offense is supposed to be the defense. They are supposed to be pressuring teams with their potent scoring.. but it's the complete opposite, Orton doesn't scare them at all.

    If you put a talented QB in McD's system I think they are winning these games that are so close this season.